Common drugs that may impair gut function

Researchers from the Netherlands confirmed what some of us already suspect—certain medications we take on regular basis may impact how the gut functions.

According to a study presented at United European Gastroenterology’s 2019 UEG Week, nearly half of 41 commonly prescribed categories of drugs can cause “significant changes” in the gut microbiome. The prescription drugs with the largest changes to gut composition include proton pump inhibitors, metformin, antibiotics, and laxatives. Researchers analyzed 1,883 fecal samples and found that 18 types of drugs significantly affected gut bacteria. Researchers warn that these medications may worsen gut-health issues. Metformin, used to treat Type 2 diabetes, is especially notable due to the apparent link between IBS and diabetes.

The study highlights the importance of considering the role of the gut microbiota when designing patients’ treatment plans and could explain certain side-effects associated with medication use.